Calendar & Update for May 20 – May 22, 2019

Today was the first day of the special session authorized under the sine die resolution, in which lawmakers are limited primarily to work on the budget, gubernatorial vetoes, any bills in conference committee, and legislation pertaining to Santee Cooper and S.1 (which restricts the Governor’s interim appointment power).

The most significant item on today’s calendar was the the Carolina Panthers incentives legislation, which passed the House and Senate. The bill now goes to the Governor’s desk (who has indicated he will sign it). The bill extends the team job tax credits, provide an exemption from county and municipal business license fees and taxes, and protect their property from municipal annexation without prior written consent. One significant amendment adopted by the committee would drastically increase the available tax credits for lower income counties from $8,000 to $25,000 per job in “Tier IV” counties, and $4,000 to $20,250 per job in “Tier III” counties.

The state budget was also finalized in conference committee today. It is worth noting that two provisos imposing tolls along I-95 were removed from the budget, as was the proviso inserted  by the House requiring the Department of Administration to solicit binding offers for the purchase or management of Santee Cooper.The bill will likely be voted on tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the standalone bill establishing a process for selling state-owned utility Santee Cooper is in conference committee tomorrow at 11am. The bill could be taken up by lawmakers the same day if it passes through committee quickly enough.

Finally, several other conference bills passed at least one chamber:

  • H.3137 – Ties Local Government Funds to increases in the General Fund (House & Senate)
  • H.3601 – Possibility of conditional discharge for disorderly conduct (House & Senate)
  • H.3821 – Allows advanced practice registered nurses to administer schedule II narcotics for patients in long-term care facilities, and to enforce a “do not resuscitate order” (House)
  • H.4004 – Creates a new end-of-life form for patients (House)
  • H.3602 – Updates the list of individuals who can make health care decisions for a patient to include someone with an established relationship to the patient (only if more immediately connected individuals are not available) (House)

The special session extends through Wednesday, but the Sine Die resolution allows legislative leaders to summon the General Assembly at any time (for the specified reasons listed above) until next year.

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Update as of 5/21/19: Nearly all of the remaining conference bills – including the state budget and the bill outlining a process for selling Santee Cooper – passed the House and Senate. They now go to the Governor’s desk. The Speaker of the House indicated he does not foresee the General Assembly returning to Columbia in 2019, meaning vetoes by the Governor won’t be taken up until next year.